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Putting the Pieces Together — an Open Thread

Putting the Pieces Together

I’ve been thinking about some of the arguments floating around.

Some people think that Martha Coakley MUST NOT be elected to the Senate. Others aren’t so sure. . . .

Some people think we should make deals with people who are radically against some of the issues we hold dear.  Others think that’s a huge mistake. . .

In this Open Thread let’s try to put some of these pieces together — When do we trust a candidate with our vote?  What makes us decide NOT to trust them? When is a protest vote appropriate (for you) and when is it the wrong thing to do?

And what are some of the pieces you’re assembling tonight?

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174 Responses

  1. Coakley has made it clear (to my grief) that she is part of the democratic machine, and the machine has made it clear they are the agents of the corporations.

    Brown is obviously another republican, which means he is no wrose than Coakley,and is another agent of the corporations.

    If electing Brown will succeed in defeating the health insurance reward bill, I am for it.

    • But what about all the other votes Brown will cast over the next however-many years?

      I don’t know these people at all. It’s not like the Obama thing where we had two years or more to look at him & his background.

      • Brown is Bush on steroids. I think I might just stay home and let the chips fall where they may. I can’t face voting for Coakley knowing she will sell out women’s rights. I certainly would never never never vote for Brown. He’s disgusting.

        • I think you’ve got a tough decision. I am glad I don’t live in MA.

          For what its worth I probably would vote for her but she wouldn’t get my time or money and I’d make it clear to her why. She’s a huge disappointment and she isn’t even in office yet.

        • In the spirit of the 30% solution I voted for Martha in the primary, but I can’t stomach her caving on HCR. So I’m staying home next Tuesday. Call it a protest non-vote.

        • Well, some folks over at Corrente suggested using this to be very obvious about nonvoting, like writing in None of the Above or FDR or just leaving it blank. Someone said those nonvotes are counted and recorded somewhere, if there were enough numbers they might be noticed.

          I’m leaning toward nonvoting but I’m not sure whether I’m staying home or writing in FDR.

          If I just stay home, then there’s no message that I’m staying home in disgust, I could just be one of the thousands who are apathetic. I’m just sick about this whole thing.

          • How about writing in Hillary?

          • This is fighting the last war (that is, last primary).

            Corrente, IIRC, and others were wrong and critized those who didn’t vote/registered a protest vote in Nov. 2008, and now they think they should make up for up.

            But it doesn’t seem like Coakley is the second coming of Obama. She just seems to be a politician, and some of these hoopla seems to be from those who want to teach the Hillary wing a lesson, and get the score back.

          • Further, on the TalkLeft post: frankly I am surprised anyone takes Jeralyn’s judgement (or lack thereof) seriously anymore. Not only is she wrong on almost any case, her posts are fluffy and devoid of any serious substantial logic. Her post topic are: Polansky (gag inducing), Palin (gag inducing, PDS alert), and American Idol and other brainless TV shows. Oh, another topic is her cozying up to Huffington and Axelrod Kid.

            Give whatever reasons for/against voting you have, but please leave JM out of it. She lost her credibility with me a long time ago.

      • Hi katiebird and everyone, long time since I’ve posted here though I read often. The folks over at http://hillbuzz.org/ have been on this race for some time and have wrestled with these questions too. Check out some of the threads there.

      • if Brown sucks he’s out in 2 years. Coakley is for life.

    • How can you tell that before she’s even taken office? Was she supposed to kick off her campaign by announcing that she intended to vote against her party’s signature HCR effort? Or maybe you think Democratic Party support is irrelevant in a MA Senate race.

      Coakley hasn’t even had the opportunity to cast a single health care vote. Judging from her 1) staying true to her Hillary pledge all the way to the convention, and 2) speaking out at all against the anti-woman HCR crap, she’s already shown more guts than most of Congress. I prefer to give her a chance to prove her convictions.

      You’re wrong if you think HCR will be derailed by her loss. Reid/Pelosi/Obama have always had many more options than they pretend they have. They’ll maneuver a way to pass it anyway, secretly delighted that they’re not hampered by some unpredictable b*tch with a conscience.

      *****A

      • I agree on all points. Coakley drew a line in the sand between two versions of the HC bill, saying she would vote against a bill with the Stupak language but might ‘reluctantly’ support one without it.

        This is the way to get results, real influence.

        If she pledged to vote against any and all versions, they just wouldn’t install her till after the vote. (Or at most they’d bribe some other GOP forget to show up for the filibuster or push the wrong button.)

      • She already specifically and clearly said she’d vote for HCR with the Nelson compromise in it. Just as she clearly and specifically said, before the primaries, that she’d vote against hcr if it had the hideous Stupak amendment in it.

        She had her chance. She could have waited until after she was elected to flip. She could have used her position as the 60th vote to wring a measly concession or two out of the Democrats. She could have at least faked it being a horribly difficult decision for her, and/or faked some minimal level of concern for her supporters’ wishes. But she couldn’t be bothered. It’s actually a terribly revealing sign of the times that politicians in general don’t even bother faking that they care what voters think anymore. They don’t think we’re even worth putting in the effort to fool us.

        Now the health insurance giveaway bill is even worse than when she said she’s vote against it, and from the bits leaking out from the secret (or is it transparent? I get confused) health care talks among Congress, it’s going to be even worse than the last Senate version they admitted to.

        • I find it interesting as AG she didn’t get law enforcement endorsement.

        • It’s interesting that Coakley flipped before the election. At least she let the voters know before they cast their ballots. She gets points for that in my book. But I totally understand why people are disappointed in her. Both my husband and I stayed home for the VA governor’s race. We’re so disillusioned that neither of us could find the energy to even bother with voting.

    • If electing Brown will succeed in defeating the health insurance reward bill, I am for it.

      It won’t.

  2. Have you seen this photo of Harold FORD? (((shaking head))) I am 😯
    http://tinyurl.com/yjv25j9

  3. Here is what I feel about the tea party. When Hillary spoke to the bombers in Pakistan she said invited them to “join the discussion”

    And that’s what I would like to say to everyone – don’t be closed minded, the political parties that are in power have spent years making us believe that the gap between us is too large and the differences are insurmountable – in doing that they have stolen our power. So join the discussion, our nation is at stake.

    • Until republicans get over pushing their religious bigotry on others, I will not support anything they do. They are homophobic, they value a clump of cells over living and breathing women. Pat Robertson was a serious candidate for president from that party. Until they go back to being the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and stop being the American Taliban they can forget about me. There are very few republicans that I wouldn’t have serious differences with. I do not support their agenda of gay bigotry and their beliefs that their religion can define life and prevent women from self determination. Also, they have no idea what a free market really means in economics. They want benefits from the government but refuse to pay for them. I have very little in common with them.

      I’m tired of democratic corruption and their corrupt cronyism, but most Republicans are seriously WRONG on nearly every issue. PERIOD. Until democrats clean up their problems with being for sell to the highest bidder and stick to their principles, they will have to EARN every one of my votes. Very few Republicans would ever gain my consideration, let alone my vote.

      I’m an independent now.

  4. I am so glad I don’t live in Massachusetts. I would love for Coakley to have been the candidate she looked like a few months ago.
    If, as it appears, the party put some serious pressure on her, then I think the only thing they understand is serious pressure.
    The answer has to be “NO, and hell NO” until they become a truly democratic democratic party.

    • I agree. If I lived in MA I’d probably stay home. I can’t support any Democrat who supports Obamacare. The anti-choice language is only one of many problems I have with the health insurance bill.

  5. Coakley has said that she will not vote for the health insurance reform bill if the abortion language is any more restrictive than what is currently in the senate bill. Brown says that he will vote against the bill no matter what. I predict that neither one of them will get to vote on it because Kennedy’s appointed replacement will vote for the bill with no strings attached. All Reid and the Democrats have to do is delay seating the winner until after the vote. The seat will come up again in 2012. In those 2 years many other bills will come up for a vote so there is more at stake than HCR.

    • The winner keeps the seat until 2013 actually.

      • By that time Brown could do a lot of damage.

        • What is the rate that incumbents are re-elected to the Senate? Once he is in it is going to be hard to get him out, Republican or not.

        • Yes, he could. But I won’t support him, so the damage he does, I won’t be any part of.

          Coakley might do less damage, although with the record of the current Democrats and the rapidity with which she flipped to be on their ‘team’, less is somewhat in doubt. But say less. But still, she has the potential to be the 60th vote on thehorrifyingly bad health insurance bill, as well as any other massive transfer of wealth to the uberrich bills the Democrats manage to cram through. If I vote for Coakley, then I will be part of the damage.

          This is one reason why I wouldn’t vote for Obama. I may not be able to change the world with my one little vote, but I d*mn well don’t have to participate in making the world worse.

          I’ve been pro-choice all my life. It’s the one issue I just never, ever relent on. I really think that if I did vote for Coakley after her support for the bogus Nelson compromise-version of this bill, I’d have to vomit afterwards.

          • Aren’t you familiar with Coakley’s record? She has endorsemesnts of the major pro-choice groups (Brown has the opposite).

            http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/04/abortion_stances_of_brown_coakley_not_so_easily_defined/

            Coakley, the [MA] attorney general, has used whatever position she is in to advance their [pro-choice] cause – and that her work predates her time in politics. Before she joined the Middlesex district attorney’s office in 1986, for example, Coakley was a private lawyer who volunteered her time to help minors get court orders for abortions when they could not get their parents’ consent. [….]

            As a district attorney, she called on the Legislature to create a stronger buffer zone between protesters and abortion clinics. As attorney general, she enforced and successfully defended the law against a legal challenge. In 2007, she was also one of seven attorneys general who sued the Bush administration over regulations allowing health care providers to refuse to provide abortion or contraception on moral or religious grounds.

            That same year, Coakley spoke out strongly against a ban on so-called “partial birth abortion,’’ a procedure used late in pregnancies now barred unless the mother’s life is at risk. Unlike Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court rulings, the ban did not allow an exception to protect the mother’s health, Coakley noted in an op-ed published in the Quincy Patriot-Ledger. [….]

            In the primary race for the Senate, Coakley, typically a cautious campaigner, took an unusually bold campaign stance by declaring that she would rather vote down a national health care bill than accept new restrictions on abortion. Hailed nationally by abortion rights groups, she was cast as a leading crusader for their cause.

            [Coakley’s GOP opponent, Brown cosponsored a bill] which would require a woman to wait 24 hours before having an abortion and to review pictures and information detailing the developmental progress of her fetus.

            [ Brown got ] the support of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life in this race, based on his position on issues including abortion, stem cells, and federal health legislation. He also opposes federal funding for abortion, supports strong parental consent rules for minors, and supports the ban on what opponents call partial-birth abortion. [….]
            Brown sponsored an amendment to a 2005 bill on emergency contraception that would have let emergency room doctors or nurses turn away rape victims if they had religious objections to providing emergency contraception.

          • Obama had the support of the pro choice groups.

            How’d that work out?

        • Not as much as the Obama machine could do. They must be stopped, one seat at a time, if necessary. Everything rides on the BALANCE OF POWER. Brown and other Republicans don’t have enough votes in any branch to do serious damage. We need time to get it together somehow.
          Being an Independent is fine but we have no Party yet.

        • I don’t see how.

      • Only until the January 2013 swearing in. The election results will be known first Tuesday of Nov 2012, then they go on holiday 🙂 unless some really important chance to screw the people is being designed.

        A good share of 2012 will be spent campaigning.

    • Are you sure about that? I think that Kirk’s term will have expired, period. There was no senator for MN when the Franken-Coleman issue was unresolved. I don’t think Coleman was able to vote even though he was the incumbent.

    • Ayup.

  6. Reid will push through the health care bill regardless of who wins this race. Unfortunately, we will be stuck with Scott Brown for the next 3 years anyway., This guy is as dumb as a bag of rocks, and no matter what Martha Coakley does in Washington, it couldn’t be any worse than what he would do. Please take the time to research this loser before casting a vote for him (or aiding him by not voting for Coakley). I am no fan of the DNC after their little games last year, and as much as I would like to see Obama get a boot in the *ss, I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face.

    • Booting out Obama is the first step to regaining our progressive voice. That’s what electing Brown is all about. We know that MA is blue and the only reason the voters would send Brown is to send a message to the Democrats and Obama. If Coakley wants to toe the line, then it’s time Democratic candidates need to know that we want them to listen to the voters and not the WH because Obama is certainly not listening to the voters.

      • I am not buying this. Didn’t Coakley back Hillary in the primaries and stand with her until the end? Coakley isn’t who Obama and his minions wanted at all. In fact, I think they would be delighted to see another woman thrown under the bus. If Coakley loses then Obama will likely get his guy in there when the midterm election rolls around. They don’t really need a “supermajority” anyway. They’ll be able to do anything they want no matter who wins this particular election.

        • Good points. Yes, the Kennedy/Obama faction backed someone else in the primary. Yes, Coakley stood with Hillary all through and voted for her on the floor in Denver.

          Yes, the Dims and Big Money between them can get what they want regardless of the 60/40 thing. It’s just about stopping filibuster. They can stop the filibuster by bribing some GOP to not show up (or to push the wrong button).

          Imo our only chance to recover is to get honest Hillary types like Coakley in place and let them start doing a good job, ready to pick up the pieces.

        • Further, losing a couple of seats will help them, as they can blame republicans and be at least believable. I really think DNC and other powers-to-be will be glad to lose either house or senate in 2010.

    • For more info on Brown (and details of Coakley’s record) see my blog
      http://florasteele.blogspot.com

  7. Here are my priorities being an extreme liberal:

    1. I want poverty in this country to be eliminated. Everyone deserves quality health care, quality housing and the right to earn a decent living.

    2. I want equal representation for everyone. Until this happens we will continue to have problems with our system. The concept of winners and losers is archaic and doesn’t help our people prosper.

    3. Quality health care for everyone. It needs to be the same for everyone.

    4. I want our troops brought home.

    5. I want major investments into alternative resources.

    There are many things that I want but the picture is clear to me. Voting Republican will not bring about any of these. I still think my best bet is by electing women to as many government posts as possible. Therefore, I am prioritizing my votes. I vote female first, democratic second and hopefully not republican though that is a possibility if the female is republican. If we get 50% of women in Congress then I think a lot of the other things will fall into place.

    • Voting Democrats in won’t do it either. The facts speak for themselves. The Democrats in Congress helped pass all of Bush’s policies. Now the Democrats are rubber stamping Obama.

      • I agree it doesn’t make sense to blindly vote Democratic, but somebody’s got to go to Washington, so it might as well be the best person. I am not supporting Martha Coakley because she’s a Democrat, I’m supporting her despite the fact that she’s a democrat. The alterative is unacceptable.

      • Unfortunately this is correct which is why I am shooting to get as many women as possible in positions of power. I know Riverdaughter likes to talk about whenever women are more involved in governing the higher the standard of living for everyone. I think this is absolutely correct. I believe in this concept. Unfortunately at the current pace it is going to take decades to get any kind of fair representation let along for us to make any kind of headway on poverty, housing and bonafide health care.

    • GregoryP, I am so with you. We must shift the power balance toward equal representation. I think it’s the single most important factor in bringing about real change, for the better.

  8. New poll with Brown up by 4%. http://ow.ly/WFrx

    • Pretty obvious from a selection of polls that all the momentum belongs to Brown in this race. That dynamic could change, and it better or MA is going to elect a Republican.

      What’s up with the folks here saying Brown is “Bush on steroids” or “dumber than a box of rocks”? Can you back that up or is it just partisan posturing?

      I mean the guy is an elected State Senator from a majority Democratic district after all. How does that keep happening if he’s so horrible?

      • Well, Corzine was no prize but Christy the Rethug is really horrible!! NJ may regret what THEY did…

        • If he’s horrible he’ll be out in 4 years. The trick is to keep replacing them until you get a responsive one.

      • “I live every day it’s like it’s my last. Especially when JFK junior passed away and Princess Di—they’re powerful handsome rich people and they’re dead and they can’t make a difference. Well, I still can. I can work every day and try to make a difference.”

        “You can run against Bush/Cheney, but I’m Scott Brown. I live in Wrentham. I drive a truck,”

        These are a just few of the Bush-worthy quotes that make me say “what?”

        • I like “Some people think the Constitution exists to give rights to terrorists who want to attack us” “not normal” and “I’m Senator Scott Brown. Thanks for inviting me to Silver Lake High School. Some of the kids who attend school here said mean things about me on Facebook. Since you invited me to speak here, I’m now going to use this platform to call them out.” (whoops, that one’s a paraphrase rather than a direct quote)

      • What’s up with the folks here saying Brown is “Bush on steroids” or “dumber than a box of rocks”? Can you back that up or is it just partisan posturing?

        Ralph read Dak’s Jan12 sex thread. Especially seriously’s late night comments.

    • This truly turns my stomach. I can’t believe MA voters are thinking of sending this guy to DC. He makes Romney look like a liberal (although it’s hard to tell, since they both are so good at staying on both sides of every issue).

      For those of you not from MA, here’s a partial list of Brown’s legislative “accomplishments”.

      2005 – sponsored an amendment to a bill allowing ER personnel the right to refuse emergency contraception to rape victims if it disagreed with their religious beliefs (although the amendment was later stripped from the bill).

      2007 – while speaking at an assembly at King Phillips H.S. engaged in a profanity-laced rant due to the fact that some of the students had “insulted” him on his facebook account.

      Claims he supports Roe v Wade, at least during election years, although he is endorsed by MA citizens for life – also see above amendment from 2005.

      While Martha Coakley is a strong advocate for same sex marriage, even going so far as to file a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of DOMA, Brown favored an amendment barring same sex marriage. Oh, and he informed the Senator who had help his seat previously that she and her same sex partner raising a child was “not normal”.

      I’m sure I could go on, but those are just a few of the reasons I would never support this guy, even if I didn’t like Martha Coakley.

      And let me just say, what do you think would have happened if it had been Martha instead of Scott that had posed semi-nude as a college student? Let’s just say she never would have made it past the primaries – or to them. Nothing like a good old double standard.

  9. I supported Barbara Boxer, but no more. She’s part of the Democratic Party establishment. I’m willing to vote against any Democrat, not because I agree with the Republicans who will benefit from my third party vote, but because I disagree with the direction the Democrats have taken. I need to send a message, and I will be heard. I have too many issues with Obama’s policies to send candidates that will toe the line. I will also take a hard look at Republicans, especially if the candidate is a woman, like Fiorina or Meg Whitman. Electing McCain would have sent a message to the Democratic Party not to interfere with the election process. The damage Obama has done to progressive causes, like health care for all Americans, is irreversible.

    • Yes! I agree with what you’ve said and that the damage Obama has done feels irreversible.

      However, I have voted for female candidates most of my many voting years, believing that would make a difference. Lately, I’ve been questioning my assumption. So disappointed in so many women who have caved to the establishment Dems. So discouraging! I, too, am glad I don’t have to vote in MA. BB and others, I’m thinking about you!

      • I so totally agree. I celebrated when Pelosi became speaker. I worked so hard to get out the vote in 2006. I wanted a strong Democratic vote to send a message to the Republicans that change was coming. Pelosi is my representative, and she betrayed Hillary with her phony neutrality, and later she stupacked women. Cannofire said something like: who could have predicted that a health care bill that betrayed a woman’s right to choose would be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives led by a liberal from SF.
        That’s why I will not vote for Democrats. I will never trust the Democrats until the current leadership gets voted out. For now I will vote for women if they are not Democrats and somewhat acceptable.

  10. Doesn’t it seem like Coakley has sort of lost her spirit?
    Why would they make her promise to vote for that awful health care bill before this election? Surely they knew what the results would be. Did she need to die a political death for standing strong for Hillary at Denver? I wonder if she stayed to see the styrofoam Greek columns?

  11. These bonuses cannot be allowed to stand. It’s truly a disgrace.

    Anger over Wall Street’s big bonuses resurfaces, despite Obama policies

  12. think a protest vote is the best way to go. who would you vote for any candidate that may have sold out man or women
    why would you vote for a women is she going looks like she going to sell out women rights or has a record of doing just that

  13. In Kansas the Federal offices nearly always go to Republicans so I’m not in the habit of thinking my vote matters at all. It’s really interesting to me to hear about this issue from people whose votes count.

    I worry over my votes but, I know that in the end it doesn’t matter. Usually.

    • I live in Blue Dog, California. Around here I am the token liberal.

      If a GOPer wins this district it would be hard to tell the difference.

    • i live in a red state also to probably most red state of the red states by you gotta think like this its always good to lead by example

    • My vote didn’t count in 2008. I and 53 percent of the CA voters chose Hillary in the primaries. My vote didn’t count. The votes from Idaho and Utah caucuses counted.

  14. i think its important to send a message to the DNC

  15. One of the Obots favorite bogus attacks on Bill Clinton is that he “lost” Congress to the Republicans in 1994.

    I wonder what they’ll be saying about their messiah this time next year?

    • They’ll be saying Bill Clinton lost Congress to the Republicans in 2010 of course. Silly question.

      • Or something about Sarah Palin’s legs or kids or husband or intellect. I’m sure she’ll still be a favorite distraction device.

        • Actually, they’re already positioning themselves to avoid any impact the the beloved Obama. Morning Joe this morning was discussing “It was Coakley’s race to lose,” and shaking their heads that SHE blew her chance.

          The narrative has already begun, folks.

          Protecting Obama will be all that matters.

    • myiq2xu, they will all get amnesia on that part of the story

  16. This is sort’ve OT … but you know China has it’s own brand of FISA and this is the kind of extreme things you see when a government decides to spy on people that disagree with them. This country finds a 20 year old tibetan women threatening to them.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14195105?nclick_check=1

    When Tenzin Seldon, a 20-year-old sophomore at Stanford, logged onto her Gmail account from New York over winter break, she may have helped Google understand the widespread penetration of its network by unidentified hackers in China.

    Unknown to Seldon, a regional coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet, at the same moment she was reading her e-mail in Queens, someone in China was logged into her account as well. Top Google officials, including chief legal officer David Drummond, later told Seldon that the suspicious situation alerted them that she was one of the human rights activists whose electronic mail was routinely being spied upon by someone in China.

    “That the long arm of Chinese security could reach all the way to my home here at Stanford is something I never would have suspected,” said Seldon, the first activist targeted in the cyberattack to be identified. “It’s very disturbing when your Gmail account, which is as personal as it gets, can be hacked into and breached.”

    Following the company’s detection of widespread cyberspying on the Gmail accounts of human rights activists in the United States, China and Europe, Google said this week that it will consider closing its operations in China, unless the government stops forcing Google to censor its search engine.

  17. This is a tough one. Except for being completely gutless and soulless and corrupt and being for sale to the highest corporate bidder, I kind of liked Martha. On the other hand Brown never had a soul to begin with. So it’s a tough call. If I were in MA I wouldn’t vote for either one.

    Generally speaking I would rather have a women and a Democrat, but being for HRC sort of negates that.

    I think in the end she’ll still probably win despite the current trends. And frankly regardless, I think some rotted form of HRC will pass, with or without her (by hook or by crook). So I’m not sure it matters. But to vote for her is a vote for Obama and ObamaCare, which I just couldn’t do.

  18. The Next Shoe to Drop: IRA Grab Being Set Up NOW–Heads Up!

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/the-next-shoe-to-drop-ira-grab-being-set-up-now-heads-up/

    Everyone should read the stories I’ve linked to….seriously, we are going to get screwed!

    • PS…this is a “bipartisan” effort….along with AARP and BIG INSURANCE….germ of this crap may have started in 2008 during Bushco…

    • I’ve read elsewhere about this annuity push. I figure that will be the next bubble.

      • They had some lady economist talking to Congress last year or late 2008 about grabbing all IRAs and 401Ks. The talk was to take from the rich and give to the poor. Yes, you would get to use only a portion of what you had saved.

  19. OT, but interesting. This slashdot post is about a new Obama appointee:
    http://politics.slashdot.org/story/10/01/14/2226219/Obama-Appointee-Sunstein-Favors-Infiltrating-Online-Groups
    From the post:

    President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated in a recent paper the ‘cognitive infiltration’ of groups that advocate ‘conspiracy theories’ like the ones surrounding 9/11 via ‘chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine’ those groups. Sunstein admits that ‘some conspiracy theories, under our definition, have turned out to be true’ Sunstein has also recently advocated banning websites which post ‘right-wing rumors’ and bringing back the Fairness Doctrine. For decades (1956-1971), the FBI under COINTELPRO focused on disrupting, marginalizing and neutralizing political dissidents, most notably the Black Panthers. More recently CENTCOM announced it would be engaging bloggers ‘who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information.’ In January 2009 the USAF released a flow-chart for ‘counter-bloggers’ to ‘counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the US government and the Air Force.’

  20. I hate to post this question on my blog, because people will think I’m just refusing to look stuff up for myself. But the thing is, when you lose radio contact for awhile, it’s hard to figure out what’s going on. I stopped reading the news before Christmas, and between that and my personal heartwarming adventures, I’m lost.

    What did Martha do? Why do we hate her now? She said she would support HCR if Stupak is taken out? Or she would support it with a watered down Stupak? If that’s all, I’m not surprised.

    Is it something else? What is going on?

    • Good question. Never a bad idea to make sure all the issues are out on the table. I think there are some previous posts that detail the issues. One issue is that she supports the Senate bill as it stands. Which is a problem for many.

    • I don’t hate her. I just find it hard to trust a person who one minute says she will fight to remove a portion of the health care bill and then two minutes later says that she will vote for the same measure with that very same thing she was against.

      Usually Congressfolk wait until actually in office to disappoint their constituency. Martha appears to be raising the bar by disappointing before even getting in office. Doesn’t say much about her commitment to choice.

      Glad you’re feeling better.

    • She said she will support the Senate version. So, on the one hand, people who looked for her to be the champion over Stupak and sent her money feel betrayed. On the other, she’s in a horrible position. Every other Dem whiffed, and now it’s being put on her and her alone to waltz in like Mr. Smith on steroids and, as her first act as Senator before removing her coat, destroy Obama’s Presidency. It sucks to be us (voters) and kinda sucks to be her, too.

      • But she did hold out for the non-Stupak version. See the letter from her campaign below.

        [….] there are important distinctions between what was passed in the House [Stupak] and what was passed in the Senate. As you note, the House provision would effectively bar any insurance plan accepting government subsidies from covering elective abortions. The Senate bill, on the other hand, would allow such insurers to sell plans covering abortions, but would require women to pay for that portion of the coverage separately.

        Helping to get this concession in the final bill may be a better move than letting Reid et al pass the Stupak version over her No vote.

    • During the primary she said she would not vote for the health insurance bill if it contained Stupak. Right after she won the primary was when Reid was ‘negotiating’ with Nelson over the abortion language in the Senate bill, which ended up being that cr*p about giving women the option to buy separate insurance covering abortion. Here is the reply I got from the campaign when I wrote to tell them how angry I was:

      Thank you for being in touch with the campaign, and for sharing your thoughts on health care reform. It is true that Martha would reluctantly support the Senate healthcare bill. As a feminist and a
      person committed to true reform with a public option and one that does not compromise women’s rights, she certainly understands your disappointment in this decision. However, she is unwilling to let Republican obstructionism thwart reform altogether. She has long said that she would vote for a reform bill only if it greatly expands coverage, improves quality and contains costs. While far from perfect, Martha believes the Senate bill takes significant steps toward
      reaching these goals. She understands that the fight for a better healthcare system will not end with the January vote. Rather, once the bill is passed, Martha will continue fighting for the progressive improvements that we agree would achieve the most affordable and comprehensive coverage for all Americans.

      To your comment, Martha finds the abortion language in the Senate bill troubling. As Attorney General, she fought hard to ensure a woman’s right to choose, defending legislation that would create and expand
      buffer zones around reproductive healthcare facilities and, earlier this year, filing lawsuit challenging Bush administration provider conscience regulations that jeopardized a woman’s ability to access reproductive healthcare services. That said, there are important
      distinctions between what was passed in the House and what was passed in the Senate. As you note, the House provision would effectively bar any insurance plan accepting government subsidies from covering
      elective abortions. The Senate bill, on the other hand, would allow such insurers to sell plans covering abortions, but would require women to pay for that portion of the coverage separately. While this
      is a disappointing, added administrative burden, the Senate bill will still allow people to buy this coverage, provided that they pay for the portion covering abortions separately.

      Martha understands that a much better bill can be imagined, but she is unwilling to block reforms that Democrats and other progressives have sought for decades. We hope this information will change your mind about the upcoming election, and you will decide to vote on January 19th.

      • This bit is the killer:
        “…but she is unwilling to block reforms that Democrats and other progressives have sought for decades…
        OK, then don’t block the reforms “real” Democrats have sought. But do block this load of crap, bailout for the insurance companies, reduction in women’s rights, POS bill.

      • Damn. That’s a much more extensive reply than the one I got from Warner. AND it’s even about the topic you addressed. I really need to move out of Virginia.

    • Dunno why people hate her. She voted for Hillary on the floor at Denver. She stood up against Stupak saying she would vote against that version and only ‘reluctantly’ support a better version. Thus she’s using her influence to make the bill not quite as bad as it would have been. Bill is campaigning for her. She has a great pro-choice record as AG (Brown’s is terrible).

      Some people seem to think she changed her mind instead of the bill getting changed. If she had vowed to vote against it whatever, then Reid et al would just keep her from taking office till after the vote (they may anyway).

      • err, I don’t hate her. I don’t think anyone here does. It’s not about any personalization of my feelings or any stuff like that. It’s about whether she’ll fight for what she says are her principles. I supported her based on what she said she believed and would fight for. The very first thing she did (before even being sworn in!) was reverse on one of those principles.

        So why should I continue to support her now that I know she won’t fight for what she said her beliefs are? I’m sure that on any easy, non-controversial vote, she’ll vote the way I’d want her to. But that’s useless. If it’s easy her vote isn’t needed.

        As AG of Mass. it was relatively easy for her to be pro-choice, go after the big banks and sue the feds over DOMA, etc etc because all of those things are very popular with Mass. voters. She didn’t have to make a choice between the voters who support(ed) her and the total mess the Democrats are making because she wasn’t beholden to the national level party leaders. But now she is and she made her choice, and it wasn’t the voters.

        I keep going back and forth among the few sites that are really discussing Coakley hoping to find the one rationale that would help me decide what to do. (I’m not voting for Brown). Brown is horrible and I don’t want him to win. But I’m tired of enabling a party that just keeps stomping all over me. I can’t make any sense out of continuing to do that.

      • If you’re looking for a Democrat who hates Coakley, visit Jeralyn at TalkLeft.

  21. What makes you think that the Obots will get the point that you’re voting against them? It will be HER fault for running a bad campaign etc. They are tone deaf and won’t get the point. And if Brown is elected – you’re stuck with him for many years! There are 59 other Senators that will have to vote to pass this crappy bill – they’re going to get a free pass and only Martha is going to be held responsible? Like Katiebird, I live in a state where my vote rarely counts – may all MA voters make a wise decison Good Luck

    • I completely agree with you marylee. I wouldn’t want that man for a senator under any circumstance.

    • You make a good point.

    • Exactly. In addition to the fact that we can’t elect a woman dogcatcher, the low turnout will be blamed on the weather and people not knowing when the election is. They’re not going to blame it on HRC because it polls well here. And the data suggests that what people are responding to are Brown’s right wing talking points. That message will get through loud and clear, since it’s what they want to hear anyway.

      • I looked at the individual questions in the Suffolk poll. It is interesting that 60% of the responders had an unfavorable opinion of Palin.

        • Ras found taxes are bad, government spending is bad (though a plurality actually think the bailout helped, but as a philosophy, say no to government), security good–yes to full body scanners, enemy combatants over giving the accused constitutional rights or whatever he’s on about this week…

        • Lol Maybe the respondants were all related to Steve Schmidt. Brown is a genius, while Palin is a moron.

      • If HCR bill is not the dealbreaker, then it’s a little bit shocking that MA would elect the hollow Republican. Martha needs to pull this off.

    • I live in Mass. I’m not holding Martha solely responsible; it’s just her bad luck that she’s the only one I have any ability to hold responsible. I supported her for many reasons but a huge one was keeping more restrictive abortion language out of the health care bill. Now she’s wiped out that reason. I was a very strong supporter.

  22. Got this from FDL

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=l2FMmMmhuTu6ONh6wrbSOQFxne0GC8FpEnhoKQpcf6Y%3d&

    It actually isn’t a bad survey format as far as trying to figure out where to go forward.

    • I started to take the poll but got stuck on a couple of inconsistencies — probably typos but, they actually affect my answer.

      One question asks about my support for a mandate to purchase insurance from private insurance companies.

      And another asks if I support primarying Democrats who vote for a mandate to purchase insurance…. See More

      I’m against the mandate to purchase private insurance but, in favor of a mandate to purchase insurance if we are given either single-payer or at least a public option.

      Since they don’t have an “explain” field – I just stopped at that point.

      • Me too…I have been sending FDL e-mails directly to the trash but I open this one and looked at the poll…it wasn’t well done and I quit.

        The bottom line with FDL and Jane with all of the waa..waa..waa about the health care scam is where the F were you at primary time when it would have made a difference. Even at the middle stages of this disaster, Jane and FDL bought the whole WH sham about “blue dogs”, Lieberman, etc forcing the “One” to compromise. Anyone with 1/2 brain knew that the show was being coordinated out of the WH and that Obama had made it clear that he wouldn’t accept anything that went against his “deals” with the health care corps. Jane’s political judgment is very poor.

        • I thought the survey was pretty well written. It gets into geographics, asks specifically what you are willing or able to do, asks what is specifically supported or not supported(to figure out hard and soft support issues and act as block). While I agree that Jane was slow on the uptake it looks like she is making a solid effort to mobilize and create a bloc of voters on health care.

        • me too

      • As far as I can tell from that poll, the authors don’t see a difference between the two. A mandate is a mandate. I stopped too. Either they are against universal healthcare in any form and have gamed the poll, or they’re idiots.

        • Oh, didn’t notice it was Jane. Should have added: “or both.” to my last sentence. 🙂

        • I didn’t read it that way. I think she is looking specifically at health care as it stands in the present bills being offered(not in as we wish them being offered). Hence the should we primary queries for support for specific areas. Maybe I wasn’t reading enough into it though. I just thought it interesting so I figured I’d share.

    • There isn’t really an option on there for the way I’d like to move forward. Which is to capitalize on the frustration with this bill to really spread the message on single payer. There’s no stopping or improving Obamacare at this point. It is too late. Without singlepayer being part of the debate, we are getting nowhere. We have the Ezra Kleins and Paul Krugmans conflating the healthcare in Canada and England with Obamacare.

  23. If I could vote , I would vote for brown- to send a message to the Obama administration..
    what ever democrate is put in that position is going to be brow beaten to do exactly what the Democrates want — so why bother, even for a women- she would have to follow the pied pipers to the ocean and then the voters would’nt vote her back in …

    I think putting Brown in would save her from all the crap. but give her a chance to come back in 2012 and beat him… after all the fire works..

    I believe the Dem party is going to lose big in this next yr -would that be a good thing for her???

    • what ever democrate is put in that position is going to be brow beaten to do exactly what the Democrates want — so why bother, even for a women- she would have to follow the pied pipers to the ocean and then the voters would’nt vote her back in …

      If I could vote, I’d vote Coakley, but I totally relate to this angle and have given it a lot of thought in general. It is a tricky one. I think it comes down to the specifics of each situation. When it comes to this particular race, if Coakley lost, imho that would be a political upset and embarrassment so huge that she wouldn’t be able to come back from it and win later on down the line.

      • ITA. And, as a Gynocrat, I think that we should vote for as many women as possible.

      • And the Repubs are taking every little piece to embarrass her or position her as “wrong” like the incident of the reporter tripping and falling being positioned as her aide pushing him down when in fact he was trying to keep him from falling.

  24. This might explain the e-mails asking for money from my new BFFs Viki Kennedy and Ted, jr. Both had the faint smell of panic.

    “Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race’

    “Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.”

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view/20100114brown-out_poll_shows_scott_brown_trumping_martha_coakley/srvc=home&position=0

    It’s the Boston Herald but there seem to be Dems who are quite worried. If Coakley looses. it will be her flip on “Obama-care” that did her in. If she has stuck to her guns and shown some independence and integrity, she would have gotten at least another $1k from me and support from the “old” Dem base.

    • Yes I’m pretty pissed that she flipped on obama care. If she wants a chance of winning now she better come out staunchly against the bill, and quick.

    • She’s gonna lose, and already they’re saying it’s because she focused on “hardcore” Dems at the expense of “mainstream” Dems. Obama has a positive approval rating, so it’s her, not him. She’s the wrong kind of Dem, plus voters responded to Brown’s terrorism-and-taxes schtick.

      Pretty much the opposite of the message we want to send, and I think the DNC’s listening real hard.

      • ugh, and if there is no upset and Coakley wins, they’ll take all the glory for themselves and say it’s proof that running against Obamacare is ineffective. This is a lose-lose pinning the anti-Obamacare sentiment on Coakley. The midterms is where we needed to focus on sending a message by the base staying home. Focusing the backlash onto Coakley is going to backfire either way now. The DNC is going to get the wrong message no matter what.

        • Pretty much, yeah. In ’08, we worked our way into the storyline. It was in our power to control the outcome and everyone knew it. If we’d come through they would have had to listen to us. Now, not so much. When she loses, we’re not part of the narrative and nobody will be thinking or talking about us. If by some miracle she wins, same. We’re just not on the radar and there are 12 other storylines. On the bright side, is there a cash prize awarded when the “Dumbest Senator” baton is passed?

          • Word.

            Dems will spin it any way they like- I don’t think they give a d*mn about Oakley.

  25. Mary Kate Hambone:

    On the ol’ Inspiro-meter, I’d say the president has hit that rarely reached sweet spot right between Droopy the Dog and Eyeore. Note, in particular, the deadness in his eyes as he closes out his appeal:

  26. this is from the Brown camp:

    the way the Brown team sees it, the political situation in Massachusetts, dominated by the Democratic party and increasingly marked by corruption (three consecutive state Speakers of the House have been indicted and forced to resign in disgrace) is making state voters wary about the one-party domination of Washington, where Democratic leaders are rushing toward new extremes of federal spending and government intrusion. “I think I represent a breath of fresh air, where people know that I’m going to go down to Washington to be a check and balance,” Brown says

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Scott-Brown-Its-me-against-the-machine–81464847.html#ixzz0cekg4umK

    • 😯

    • I’m going to go down to Washington to be a check and balance

      That’s a laugh. The arrogant politician who openly names and pillories students who happened to criticize him on facebook, in front of college authorities and all over the media, has no sense of Constitutional liberties.

  27. If Brown wins, the dimcrats intend to hold up certifying the election until after the health care vote in the senate. Therefore, voting for him just to stop the health care bill won’t work and then you are stuck with him. Anyway, think long term, we need more women in office, 17% is depressing.

  28. If I could, I’d vote for the hard working if imperfect woman.

    Brown is plain disgusting.

  29. http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/75965-white-house-blames-inefficient-government-on-outdated-technologies

    I will be voting against Barbara Boxer in this election. I need a congress that has my and my country”s best interest at heart.
    I am tired of dumb excuses and congress critters selling themselves like 1/2 a dollar hookers to the corporation that pays them to screw the people.
    Voting against the dems this time is like the slap along side of the head that Gibbs gives in NCIS.
    Do I think the republicans are any better NO, but one party in both the legislative and executive branches sucks for the American people.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  30. I have found nothing impressive about the dems performance this year. After what happened to Hilary, the democrats and republicans look the same to me. I think the best thing for America are centrists. But how do you find a centrist? I don’t trust endorsements after the 2008 primary. I don’t trust candidates who say they are moderate, because they all seem to be have been passing really crappy legislation for the last 10 years whether dem or repub.

    Democrats are just as bad as republicans, and both groups have been exposed for what they are.

    Neither Dems nor Repubs are going to put abortion in the HRC bill. Neither Dems or Repubs are going to push back against pro life groups. The reality is that Roe vs. Wade will never be rolled back, and pro life people are wasting their time. But abortions will never be facilitated by our federal government either. Voting for candidate on this issue alone is a wasted vote.

    Voting for a candidate who understands how small businesses work is a better bet because it benefits a the entire country when there are more jobs available. The cap and trade bill and HRC bill will hurt job creation, and small businesses. The fact that the current congress doesn’t understand that is very scary. But then, maybe a business minded candidate is more likely to be bribed like Senator Ben Nelson. After all, a business man knows how to make a deal, and sell his values for the best price.

    I can not support a political party that ignores the majority wishes of it’s electorate, and both the repubs and the dems are guilty of that. I am waiting for a change. I believe voting for the underdog in each election sends a message and makes change happen faster.

  31. Coakley seems to be trying to lose this election. This is just one example of essay after essay describing unforced errors on her part.

    http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2010/01/14/elitist-coakley-takes-a-shot-at-fenway-park-fans/#more-40653

  32. NoQuarter is cartoonizing Coakley. Her quote wasn’t elitist in context, she was mocking the insinuation that what she was doing at Driscoll’s inauguration wasn’t important or wasn’t an active enough GOTV strategy.

    • ok so what did she say that was so terribel.??

      • Here’s the quote:

        Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.

        “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. “This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet.’’

        “This is about getting people out on a cold Tuesday morning,’’ she says.

      • The way it is being framed over and over is that she is the machine candidate, that she doesn’t have to campaign with regular voters, taht she will represent insurance and drug companies and the party, not the local people.

        While Brown was out in the cold shaking hands in local neighborhoods, she went to Washington, D.C. the day after the debate for a fundraising dinner with Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health.

        Whether she is just a rubberstamp for the big money companies or if thats unfair to her, it sure loks bad in the current policical climate, and doesn’t show much sense of the mood on her part.

  33. The voters are paying attention.

    • sorry to see what could have been a strong woman in the Senate pay the price for the party’s insanity in 2008.

  34. I am sure that the Obama people (knowing what slugs they are) have orchestrated the collapse of Coakley. THINK ABOUT IT! They do not want her. They do not want 60 votes. They want to “HAVE” to capitulate to the republicans. Why else would they have injected themdelves into the race and made her make the worst decisions possible for her. It is so KKKArlRovian. They always use his thinking as their model for governing. VOTE FOR COAKLEY…JUst to screw with the DNC and 0bama.

  35. The trouble with the “big tent” that the dems have is that there is too much squabbling between individuals. We could learn something from our republican friends. STICKING TOGETHER works. Even if you have to swallow hard and take a hit. I know this won’t go over well, but the super-majority MATTERS. Vote democratic for God’s sake and stop playing into Republican hands.

  36. Maybe Coakley needs to say or do something that shows she just won’t vote the party line.

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